Protein, bcaa, fat burners, preworkout, creatine, glutamine, multivitamins, omega-3, eaa, vitamins, carbohydrates powder, etc. Supplements are everywhere and seem to be recommended by everyone. Are they really worth the price? Are they really worth it at all?... I'm going to tell you what they are and if you should invest in them and why.
In this article, I will focus on Fat Burners.
what is it?
It is a nutrition supplements that claims to increase fat metabolism, fat loss, impair fat absorption, increase weight loss, increase fat oxidation during exercise, or somehow cause long-term adaptations that promote fat metabolism.
What does it contains?
The most popular ingredients are caffeine, L-carnitine, green tea, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and Raspberry Ketones to name just a few.
How does it work?
Research shows that caffeine improves strength, improves muscle endurance and anaerobic performance and accelerates fat loss. As well as increasing the rate of fatty acid metabolism, caffeine also decreases the rate of carbohydrate metabolism during aerobic exercise.
Green tea has been praised for its natural ability to aid the body in fat loss. The active ingredient in green tea that produces fat loss is catechines. Catechines are antioxidants which have been found to help the body to lose abdominal fat and improve triglyceride levels.
Carnitine plays a key role on the mobilization of body fat for fuel in the body. The idea behind its popularity as a fat loss supplement is the more L-carnitine you can ingest, the more fat your body will burn.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid is a slightly altered form of linoleic acid (LA), an omega-6 fatty acid important to human health. CLA cannot be produced by the human body, but it can be obtained through foods. Some of the commonly known benefits of CLA supplementation are fat burning, building and retention of lean muscle, and is a cancer fighter.
Some other suggested benefits of CLA supplementation include lowering cholesterol and triglycerides, lowers insulin resistance and enhances immune system. CLA supplementation was also shown to improve the lean mass to body fat ratio, decreasing fat storage, especially on the abdomen, and enhancing muscle growth. CLA achieves this reaction by it reduces body fat by enhancing insulin sensitivity so that fatty acids and glucose can pass through muscle cell membranes and away from fat tissue . This results in an improved muscle to fat ratio.
Approximately 3.4 grams of CLA per day is the level needed to obtain the beneficial effects of CLA on body fat. Studies using this dosage have shown that CLA doesn't make a big fat cell get little. What it rather does is keep a little fat cell from getting big.
What does that mean?
Losing bodyfat and weight is 75% eating the right clean food, 20% training properly and effectively at the gym and 5% supplements.
Verdict: THE MAGIC PILL DOESN'T EXIST.
I actually saw a post today on my IG by Shelby Starnes (@shelbystarnes100):
If you've spent years getting out of shape, and being out of shape, please understand that it will take more than a handful of weeks, or even a handful of months, to get back in shape.
You can't erase years of bad choices with a fortnight boot camp of salads and pills.
It's going to take a concerted effort over the long haul; an intelligent plan you can stick with.
And no you don't need a cheat meal; your life up to now has been a cheat meal.
Fat burners are the final weapon to bring to the fight against fat, they can help overcome sticking points, attack that stubborn fat, or speed up the a burning effects of the diet and exercise plan. You have to constantly change your diet to lose fat, play with your macros, have your diet and training plan always on point THEN bring out the fat burners IF REALLY NEEDED.
But taking a fat burner when your body fat is already high, when your diet and training are not on point, when you still eat like shit, when your life isn't clean, it is completely a money pit and it won't do anything.
According to me, fat burners are marketed in a way to make people believe that it is an easy and fast way to burn fat without having to look at their diet, lifestyle, etc.
Kritchevsky D, Czarnecki SK. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in health and disease. Chim. Oggi (Chemistry Today) 19(6):26-28 (2001).
Shelby Starnes, Instagram.